Aftershock - Your Sexual Relationship With Your Husband

Day 1 of 6 • This day’s reading


What If I Don’t Want to Have Sex with My Husband?

Many women whose husbands have been unfaithful ask if, for the time being, it’s okay not to want to have sex with their husbands. Such feelings are normal and understandable.

However, on the opposite side of the coin, it’s okay too if you do desire sex with your spouse. (A variety of responses can occur because our emotions and sexuality are complexly intertwined.) The main caution here (besides assuring that STD testing has occurred if necessary) is that neither spouse assumes that merely having “lots of sex” somehow solves the problem.

Even if you’ve made a rational decision to forgive your husband, it will probably take some time for your heart to catch up with your head. Your husband’s repentance and faithful behavior may aid the healing of that deep wound, but neither you nor your husband can force the rate of progress to speed up. Sexuality and intimacy are all about vulnerability, and you can’t make yourself readily vulnerable again until you’ve gained real assurances that it’s safe to do so.

You may have heard of a widely believed teaching that a man has to have sex at least every three days. And if his wife doesn’t attend to his needs, he will virtually be forced to turn to pornography, prostitutes, online sex, or masturbation. This idea is not only a myth; it’s an insult to both men and women. The choices he makes are his, and you are not responsible for what he does or doesn’t choose.

Christopher West, a lecturer on theology and human sexuality, has observed that “. . . if we can’t say no to our desires, our yes means nothing. If we can’t say no, we’re not free, and if we’re not free, we’re not able to love.”

The beautiful point here is that sex is meant to be loving and guided by the ever-growing fruit of the Spirit in our lives. It’s meant to be passionate, and even regular within a marriage. Yet, for the act to be conditioned as compulsory and without freedom, as Christopher West concludes: “Sex in such a situation is merely akin to what animals do when they’re in heat.”

Next, we’ll look at the benefits of a sexual hiatus.